- Associated Press - Friday, August 3, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The launch of several hot air balloons helped kick off the opening day of the Indiana State Fair’s annual extravaganza of food, farm animals, amusement rides and entertainers.

Gov. Eric Holcomb joined in Friday morning’s opening ceremonies at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis to start the fair’s 17-day run through Aug. 19. Organizers are hoping for a repeat of last year’s string of dry, sunny days that helped boost attendance to nearly 907,000 people.

This year’s theme is “Step Right Up” in recognition of three-time daily circus show that’s been added under a big-top tent.

Visitors will face added security measures, with metal detectors at each pedestrian entrance. Items such as aerosol cans, balloons, lasers and noisemakers are joining weapons as being specifically prohibited on the fairgrounds.

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